Words are underestimated. A lot. We throw them around without pausing to assess the harm they might do, or the effect they might have on those who hear them. Words declare war. They crush self esteem. They shatter hopes. They allow us to express ourselves, and that isn’t always a good thing. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed access to words. And some people do beautiful things with them. As an avid reader and aspiring writer I am very aware of the effect words can have when you use them correctly; and as a former secondary school student I know all too well the scars that they can leave (I still carry those scars with me.) Yesterday a few paragraphs made my day… Possibly my week… Maybe even my entire month.
My heart was having some issues. It felt pretty awful. I attempted to get out of bed and realised that just wasn’t going to happen. I was about to write off the whole day before it had even started, and then something pretty amazing happened. A while ago, after falling in love with the literary works of Holly Bourne, I messaged her to tell her how her writing has influenced me (it gave me the idea for this blog, for starters.) Yesterday morning she replied (which I was not expecting AT ALL), and she said the sweetest things. Apparently my message brought her to tears, and she is proud that someone like me reads her books. My heart melted into a happy mush. I smiled like I haven’t smiled in a long time.
People are very quick to hand out criticism, and not so great at mentioning the positive things. I realised this when I read the comments that people post online. People say some pretty cruel things about individuals that they’ve never even met. I’m not sure whether its jealousy, or whether people really are that malicious in their thoughts (I hope for the sake of humanity that it’s not the latter) but I figured that it must get pretty wearing to read things like that about something you have put so much work into. So I set out on a little mission to override the negativity that people direct at each other. On the same day that I wrote to Holly Bourne, I also wrote to the pair of YouTubers whose videos have made me laugh when I felt like crying, and who had received some offensive comments on their videos. Again, I don’t expect them to reply, I just figured that saying thank you, or offering some positive feedback is so simple and quick to do, and yet nobody really does it enough.
Within a few minutes of receiving the message, I got my accommodation offer from the university I am hoping to start at in September. A group conversation was started between the twenty(ish) people who have been offered accommodation in the same building (we have no idea where the other 350 people currently are…) and my worries about living in halls instantly melted away. Everybody is so nice! We stayed up until the early hours of the morning messaging each other. There are even a couple of people from California (where apparently they don’t have digestive biscuits… Not even the chocolate ones!) and I’m not the oldest first year student, which is quite a relief. Everything suddenly felt so real, and now I’m so excited to start university! I’m not sure what I’m going to do if I don’t meet the entry requirements. It still amazes me that a few little letters on a piece of paper can completely change your life.
Yesterday looked like it was going to be a pretty rubbish day. But just because my heart was having a bad day, didn’t mean that I couldn’t. Yes I felt dizzy, my heart ached, I couldn’t get out of bed. But I’m glad that I didn’t just roll over and go back to sleep. Just like bad things like to all arrive at once, so do good things. Hope isn’t something you have to generate, it is something that finds you. You just have to hold on until it does.
The other day the hope charm fell off of my string bracelet. Yesterday I realised that I didn’t need it any more, because I found the actual thing.
And I also figured this out…
Words are like knives. To a craftsman who uses them responsibly, they are tools, they create beautiful things, and they make many things possible. In the hands of someone spiteful, they are weapons, and they cut deeper than most people can comprehend. Be careful with them.